take up the gauntlet

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Related to took up the gauntlet: pick up the gauntlet

take up the gauntlet

To accept or attempt a challenge or invitation, as to fight, argue, or compete. When it comes to civil rights issues, Mary is always eager to take up the gauntlet. When the heavyweight champion boasted that nobody could beat him, no one expected this newcomer to take up the gauntlet.
See also: gauntlet, take, up